Outstanding Garden Scheme

Welcome to the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group’s Outstanding Gardens. This scheme furthers the goals of the RCMG by recognising public gardens that hold magnificent, well maintained collections of Rhododendrons and Magnolias. This will help prospective visitors, whether interested amateurs or professional, to find gardens they will enjoy. The scheme also provides additional publicity for the gardens, with opportunities for networking and collaborating.

You can find the gardens with an award on the map.

It may seem odd that the Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group only covers Rhododendron and Magnolia gardens in its Outstanding Garden scheme. The reason is that the International Camellia Society (ICS) already has a very successful Camellia Gardens of Excellence programme, which was started in the late 1990s and now boasts almost 50 gardens. Jennifer Trehane (ICS UK Region Director) suggested that the RCMG should have a similar scheme, and so the RCMG Outstanding Garden Scheme was born, closely modelled after the ICS Gardens of Excellence programme (with permission).

Initially the scheme applies to gardens in the UK only, and any UK garden is welcome to apply. To receive the award, gardens must meet a set of challenging criteria, which have been agreed by the Plant Committee. Gardens may apply for either Outstanding Garden Award for Rhododendrons, or Outstanding Garden Award for Magnolias, or both. To apply, they create a dossier that describes how they meet the criteria, which they then send to the Outstanding Garden Coordinator. The application is assessed by the Plant Committee, including a visit to the garden.

The RCMG Outstanding Garden Awards are valid for ten years, after which gardens must reapply in the same way as for the original award.

Find out more about the criteria and how to apply

Criteria for an RCMG Outstanding Garden
Guide for Applicants
Application Template
Procedure for applying for RCMG Outstanding Garden status

For more information please contact the Outstanding Garden Scheme Coordinator ogs@rhodogroup-rhs.org

Those  gardens with the award are shown on the map above.